18 Mar 2011

Cook Islands finance minister says economic plan would benefit outer islands

8:22 am on 18 March 2011

The Cook Islands Finance Minister is rejecting criticism of a proposal to abolish company and income taxes for the outer islands.

The proposal was part of the election manifesto of the ruling Cook Islands Party, and has now been recommended by the economic taskforce, which was set up by the government.

The president of the opposition Democratic Party, Sean Willis says the recommendation would increase the burden on Rarotonga.

But Mark Brown says it would have little impact on the main island, which is already subsidising the outer islands.

"It already does that now. Probably 95 percent of our tax revenue is generated on Rarotonga. So it doesn't have a big effect in terms of revenues that we would lose, but it would have an effect in terms of stimulating economic activity, stimulating an attraction for people to live and work out there."